Rick Hansen relay passes through West Kelowna

Jolynn Collier of Mount Boucherie Secondary School says running in relay is something she'll remember for the rest of her life.

Jolynn Collier shows off the Rick Hansen medal during the West Kelowna portion of the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay on Wednesday. Jolynn is one of 7

Jolynn Collier stood on a sidewalk along Pike Rd on Wednesday, around 12:30 p.m.

She smiled as she waited for her opportunity to help make history in the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay.

Several hundred feet away from her, students were gathered outside Mount Boucherie Secondary School, waiting to cheer her on.

At 12:38 p.m., exactly on schedule, event vehicles and RCMP cars paraded down Pike Rd.

Following the vehicles, Rusty Ensign—one of the District of West Kelowna’s honourary medal bearers—proudly wheeled down the road toward Jolynn.

Rusty stopped and the two posed for photos before the official exchange of the Rick Hansen medal. Before passing over the heavy piece of silver, Rusty reached over and gave Jolynn a hug.

The emotional exchange was one of thousands that have made the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay possible.

With the medal around her neck, Jolynn ran down Pike Rd and then circled back through her school’s parking lot before being welcomed by a reception of cheering students and parents.

“It’s really special,” Jolynn said after her run.

“You kind of soak in the moment and it’s over before you know it, but It’s definitely something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”

Jolynn is one of 7,000 “difference makers” who have been given the opportunity to take part in the anniversary relay, which is retracing the Canadian segment of Hansen’s original Man in Motion World Tour with the hope of making the world more accessible and inclusive.

Jolynn was chosen for her role in Mount Boucherie’s leadership group.

“We’ve planned events and spirit days throughout the school, just to help create a more positive environment.”

The relay circulated through West Kelowna on Wednesday and ended up at the Westbank Lions Community Hall around 2:30 p.m., where Mayor Doug Findlater and members of council met the relay team.

The Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay began on Aug. 24, 2011 in Cape Spear, NF; it will conclude in Vancouver on May 22.